Errol Damelin talks Wonga & work, work, work.

My take aways from Errol Damelin’s talk at Real Business Entrepreneurs’ Summit.

Errol, founder and CEO of Wonga, is one of the smartest entrepreneurs I know in the UK (he is South African).


He set out to research ante-diluvian markets where anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices where commonplace. Fancy that he settled on financial services! Then he started to think about what the world would look like in a few years time and what other trends could support the development of a great new business – empowered consumers, engagement through multiple devices at home, on the go etc (in contrast to banks requiring customers to come into their bank, justify what they want and then tell them what they can have).

Wonga designed and built a technology platform that could make real time decisions that would empower consumers, and offer them three core things that would mean Wonga could operate ethically.

  • Transparency
  • Control
  • Selectivity

Wonga’s Net promoter score, at 76% is higher than Apple and Google. Alliance and Leicester is 1%.

Lessons from Wonga

  • Go and do something totally new. Don’t bother with copycat and clone businesses.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something that is hard.
  • Never be satisfied. Never stop pushing the barriers.
  • Work bloody hard. Working smart is good. Nothing beats hard work